Moment #9: Winmar takes a stand
As with many significant historical moments, Nicky Winmar’s famous jumper lift in 1993 is a point of contention.
Winmar had continued his blistering early-season form in the match against Collingwood, collecting 20 kicks and laying seven tackles as the Saints saluted by 22 points at the Pies' fortress at Victoria Park.
But Winmar, who is still regarded as one of the most talented Indigenous players the game has ever seen, had been abused all day by a hostile Collingwood crowd.
It wasn’t the first time Winmar had been vilified because of the colour of his skin, but it was the last time he was prepared to cop it.As soon as the siren sounded, the St Kilda No. 7 responded by facing the angry crowd, raising his jumper and pointing to his stomach – providing one of the most memorable and powerful images seen in football.
Popular belief has it that Winmar’s gesture was to show he was proud of the colour of his skin.
But initial reports after the game said Winmar was suggesting it had taken guts to churn out the win, which was St Kilda’s first at Victoria Park for 17 years and only the seventh in 84 encounters at the ground.
Winmar has since confirmed the gesture was a show of indigenous pride and while he might not have known it at the time, it was seen as the point where indigenous footballers took a stance and refused to accept racial abuse any more.
Following the match Winmar became involved in a contract dispute with the Saints and stood out of football for a month, by which point all momentum the Saints had gained from the Collingwood win had been lost.
But the momentum of stamping out racism in football continues to this day.